To say that 2019 has been a year for the books would be an understatement; it's been the most transformative year of my life. With the birth of our sweet boy Benjamin, it's been a year thats brought me my greatest blessing. I never understood the joys of motherhood when people would try to explain it to me, but 2019 is the year that I finally got it. Benny has only been with us for 5 months, but it's hard to imagine what life was like without him.
The year, however, didn't pass without any strife. Spending the majority of 2019 pregnant really tested my mental and physical health. A near-crippling case of prenatal depression coupled with an emergency hospital stay for a kidney infection while pregnant definitely pushed me to my limit. For someone who typically remains in good health both physically and mentally, my struggles this year were unlike anything I've ever experienced.
In the spirit of reflection, and continuing on a tradition of blog posts that I've been keeping up from 2017 and 2018, here are some big lessons I learned in 2019.
Health Is WealthBeing a former funeral director and witnessing health struggles from close family members, I've always been aware of how valuable your health is - but this year really hit that lesson home from me. It's so easy to get caught up in the frivolities of the everyday, and spend enough energy coveting material objects to really loose track of the big picture - listen, I'm guilty of it too. But it's true that if you're in good health then you truly are fortunate. No amount of money or material objects can buy the ease of a life of someone in good health. While it's near impossible to spend every minute of the day being grateful for your good health, I now start off with a quick thought of gratitude every morning and it's really made a difference in my perspective and outlook on life.
Not Every Situation Is Mind Over MatterI have a confession to make: I used to be a 'mind over matter' person for most situations in my life. Although I recognized that there were situations that were beyond an individual's control, I just didn't think it applied to me and would attribute a strong mind to overcoming mental challenges and even your physical health. I can' tell you how many times that Brian would be coming down with a cold and I would be chanting at him to squash it with his mind - poor guy would be feeling like crap and I would be shouting at him to fix it with strong thoughts.
Do you hate me yet?
Nothing like having your body completely rocked by a surge and change in hormones to really put it all in perspective. I've mentioned how I was struggling with prenatal anxiety, but honestly it was bad. I spent the majority of my first trimester and a bit of my third in a very dark place, and nothing I could do would pull me out of it. No amount of strong thoughts, gratitude journalling, perspective - nothing. It wasn't until my hormones regulated that I felt any reprieve.
Needless to say, I've changed my tune on mind over matter. While the saying certainly applies in some situations, it definitely isn't universal.
Have PatienceWith the immediate gratification we've become used to, waiting for a situation to unfold can feel like torture. While having patience is something I'm sure will be a lifelong lesson, but I'm working on deciphering between "hasn't happened yet" and "won't happen ever." Patience is a process, but I'm trying my best to surrender to timing of your own individual life and to enjoy the journey.
What do you guys think? What have been some of your biggest lessons for 2019? What are you looking most forward to in the New Year? Let me know!
Photos by Vai Yu Law